Traditionally the Barbados Statistical Service (BSS) estimated agriculture value-added for GDP using 17 selected food crops. The selected crops were chosen because both price and quantity data could be consistently sourced for GDP estimation. These 17 select crops represent on average 75 percent of the total production of all crops provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security (MAFS). The MAFS supplies data on these selected food crops monthly (see Table 1 below).
The economy’s structure and production patterns have evolved over time and as such, it has become necessary to relook the basket of food crops included in the GDP estimation. A proposed 24 additional food crops will be incorporated into the calculation of food crop production value-added. The number of crops included will be contingent upon the availability of reliable data of both price and production quantities from producers. Commonly consumed fruits like plantains, paw paw, and cantaloupe, and a more extensive selection of herbs will now be added into the assessment (see Table 1). This approach aims to capture a more precise representation of Barbados' current agricultural landscape, ensuring that the contribution of a wider range of food crops to the country's GDP is duly recognised.
17 Select Crops
24 Proposed Additional Food Crop Items
|2||Beet||12||Potato (sweet)||2||Egg Plant||12||Basil||22||Peas|
Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Nutritional Security
Using the selected 17 food crops, production averaged 3,800 tonnes from September, 2018 to September 2023 (see Figure 1). At the end of 2022, total food crop production accounted for about 30 percent of total non-sugar agriculture output, alongside fish, meat and egg production. This translates to about $47.8 million in total real value-added to GDP at the end of last year. With the inclusion of an additional eight crops for which pricing and quantity data was readily available, food crop production’s contribution increased to about 50 percent of non-sugar agriculture output for the same period. Once the 24 additional food crop items are included in the value-added calculation, food crop output is likely to increase to around 5,600 tonnes on average. The additional coverage is expected to boost the sector’s contribution to real value-added.